South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Board OKs $418,000 pact to renovate Buerkle Middle School kitchen

Buerkle Middle kitchen serves more than 500 meals per day

A $439,000 budget was unanimously approved last week by the Mehlville Board of Education for renovations to Margaret Buerkle Middle School’s kitchen.

Spencer Contracting Co. of Arnold was chosen for the renovation project, and its bid came in at $418,000, including replacing the HVAC unit in the middle school’s kitchen.

Director of School Food and Nutrition Services Katie Koester said the budget includes “a 5 percent contingency factor for unforeseen conditions.”

Bids were opened Jan. 12, Koester said.

In October, the renovation project was estimated at $520,000, not including the HVAC unit in the kitchen.

“We’re recommending the big basic project, then the alternate one of the HVAC equipment be replaced for the kitchen units. With the kitchen … we’re recommending the budgeted proposal to be $439,273 …,” Koester told the board.

Koester and Director of Facilities Steve Habeck received 10 bids.

“We bid it out with two alternates of the HVAC equipment, one with the kitchen and one with the cafeteria, and we’re proposing to go with the base bid (associated with the kitchen),” Koester said.

Spencer Contracting was the lowest bidder, and Koester said Habeck and herself spoke to four school references: Clayton, Parkway, Kirkwood and Affton. Spencer Contracting recently completed comparable projects at the four schools.

“We spoke with all those facility directors and they had nothing but good things to say. (Spencer Contracting) did great work, they were timely …,” Koester said.

Subcontractors are Crystal Heating and Cooling for HVAC, Streib Electric and Bob Raeker for plumbing.

Koester and Habeck have been working with the district’s architects, Dickinson Hussman Architects, to develop “plans for a kitchen that would improve production flow and ergonomics and increase operation efficiency,” according to information the two provided to the board.

The Buerkle Middle School kitchen is the highest meal-producing middle school, serving more than 500 meals per day.

In their recommendation for the renovation project, Koester and Habeck noted that several pieces of the existing kitchen equipment are 30 years old and not functioning to their full capacity.

In addition, they wrote, “Staff work space is cramped and not sufficient for the amount of food produced. (The) kitchen facility layout is poor and slows down the flow of students.”

Funding for the renovation project will come from the food service department, a self-funded operation.

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